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E4 How Starting A Business Leads To Self Transformation

March 2024

68 minutes

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Episode Notes

Starting a business is a unique endeavor: from joy and celebration to fear and self-doubt. Navigating the oceans of entrepreneurship requires inner and outer resourcing. In this episode we look at how start-ups demand the best of us and ask us to evolve and grow alongside the business. We share how it feels to set a direction while stepping completely into the unknown. Starting a business is one of the most fun adventures of a life time yet we must respect that a founder is prepared for the journey ahead.

is a global, leadership-strategy consulting company. 3Peak creates the roadmap that aligns behaviours, relationships and Functional Human-Systems™ to achieve your business strategy.

Co-Founder holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and did extensive research in Consciousness, Trauma and Physical, Emotional & Mental Health in various Institutes and Research Centers around Europe.

Co-Founder is one of the most sought after therapists in the world, mastering diverse modalities and opening wellness centers in Istanbul, Santiago, New York and Berlin. Her approaches bridges transpersonal psychology, meditation, bioenergetics, family- and business-constellations and more.

Co-Founder has extensive experience advising Fortune 50 and FTSE 100 C-Suite Executives in leadership, strategy, team dynamics, and organizational change. Before coaching, Mino worked in finance, management consulting, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).


Mino Vlachos: Hello and welcome to the 3Peak Master Leadership Experience. My name is Mino and I'm joined by my co founders, Mazen and Krisana. And together we created a company called 3Peak Coaching and Solutions. 3Peak is a leadership strategy company that supports organizations to ensure that the people are getting your strategy right and moving with leadership and wellness. Our topic for today is startups. Being an entrepreneur, starting your own business, and we're really going to be starting with starting a startup and all the beautiful things that go into building a business in the beginning. So the first thing I'd like to start with is before you start a business in the early, early stages. So each one of us, we're going to be speaking about our own experiences and each one of us comes from a different journey and so we're going to be sharing a little bit about our own journeys and some of the things that we encountered before starting 3Peak coaching and solutions. So I'll just start with me. Actually, I came from a more quote unquote traditional background. I have a more corporate background. So I spent my career in different corporations and I had it in the back of my mind for many years that I would like to one day start my own business and do my own thing. But I had a lot of fear. So there was a lot of fear of the unknown, fear about my own capabilities, self doubt. So in the beginning, one of the biggest steps for me was to really address and understand the amount of fear that I had within my system and how to get out of that fear. One of the biggest fears for me was around money. So I spent years saving up money so that I could have some savings before jumping into starting a startup. I did a lot of mentorship, coaching, therapy, self work, everything and anything I could to really understand the fear and come to grips with my own self doubt and to understand and respect the skill set and experience that I had built in all the work that I had done. So for me, one of the biggest topics was addressing this fear and this kind of unknown. And one of the interesting things since kind of quitting the corporate world was a lot of things that I feared. None of it came to pass. So I went on the other side of that decision and the things that I was scared about were actually quite relaxing. Yet some of the things that I thought I'll be very relaxed about were some of the things that were the challenges that I didn't anticipate. So that's just a little bit and we can get into that a little bit more but that's a little bit of my journey. But I again went from the corporate world right into starting a business. But I know the two of you, Crisana and Mazen, you had a very different journey into working and eventually getting into creating three peak. So I want to start with Krisana. I know that you had many lives. You could probably fit five or six lifetimes into the life of Krisana. I've known you for many years and still somehow hear completely new chapters of your life that I never knew about. But in some way, if you could translate to us, you went a different route. You were never in these big institutions. You very much created your own path. What gave you some of the resources? I talk about inner resources and maybe outer resources to navigate a path. And what did you experience emotionally along the way? Were there moments of fear? Were there moments of self doubt? And if there weren't, what supported you to navigate a journey that was, let's say, nontraditional, quote unquote, from a typical corporate background.

Krisana Locke: I would say my passion and what I enjoy doing, I go very deep into the process of what I'm enjoying, and so that propels me to open up many doors inside of me to explore. So basically, I studied psychology and many approaches, and I just enjoyed working with people. I just enjoyed the experience of, with my work, creating interactive processes, being with people. I think I went on the way. I discovered all the not pitfalls, the discovery and the learning was on the way. My resources, inner resources. I'm noticing when we do these podcasts, I always are going back to my childhood and my family. I was an older sibling, so I was given a lot of responsibilities when I was younger to take care of younger brothers and sisters, to get an early skill set to do things. Especially my mother, she would tell me, yeah, you can do it, because she probably needed me to do things, but she gave me the confidence without the fear that just go out and do things. That's what I can say. My inner resources, I don't feel I'm afraid, but if there's obstacles, I really reflect a lot and understand how I can move through them. So that's my inner resources. That's all I'm going to say for now.

Mino Vlachos: Thank you. Mazen. You started in a more institutional path, if I call it that. You were in academia, and then at some point you left academia to go and be an independent consultant, freelancer, advisor. So there's many paths and journeys that you took, but you left that kind of more, quote unquote, stable secure, institutional thing. What was that jump like for you? Did it feel like there was a moment of unsafety or self doubt? And in that period where you were an independent consultant freelancer, what did come up for you? Were there moments of fear, self doubt, or what supported you to not have those things?

Dr. Mazen Harb: Yeah, I really see compared to both of you, I come from obviously a complete different angle, because for years upon years I was in the academia, so I was in institutions. So the way how I earned money was completely different than both of you. So I have a different relation to money, I have a different relation to the exchange that happens about work, about the labor. It's important to say where I come from in terms of money and relationship to it, because that defines a lot, my conditionings or my fears or my doubts later on, whenever you start something new. I started having scholarships. I was paid to do everything I love. I was in academia, I loved curiosity, I loved knowledge, I loved science, I hated the business world, I didn't want to work, I didn't want to work to generate money and to generate just work. I wanted to develop, I wanted to learn, I wanted to understand. And for me, the business world didn't offer that because lots of people who did my degree, they ended up in pharmaceutical companies or other in that sphere. And I didn't feel like to really be on a rat race to have money. And then I start a family, I wanted to invest in me, in myself. And I was really lucky early on that fortunate. Lucky. I prefer the word fortunate because we play a role in our evolution. Things don't happen like this, perhaps with intention. So I was fortunate enough that I got a really nice scholarship to do my phd. I got the European Commission, through the European Commission scholarship to do my phd between Max Plancks of psychiatry in Germany and then University of Braga in Portugal. And to be with amazing people where I was paid for four years to research, go deep science, so I didn't have to think about money. So money was not a thing. Curiosity, creativity, having answers, understanding the psyche, understanding addiction, feeding behavior, obesity, stress, all those topics I was working on, so where lots of friends and colleagues were working on generating, creating businesses or creating money. So what happened to me is at certain point I moved. Even after that I became one of the main research scientists in the university hospital in Berlin after my phd. And there again I got a scholarship. And it's not easy to get scholarship, right? So there is another fear. Constantly. I applied for like a hundred applications, so it comes with its own fear. But I'm not going to open that topic. That's once we open about research, academia, there's so much stress. It doesn't help now for the discussion. But I got a really nice scholarship to work in a really amazing project in Berlin, in the capital of Germany. So I'm like, this is a really beautiful opportunity. And I knew I needed that before going and then creating my businesses again. I received money and at the end the money was like, that's one year and a half. There is no more money. And that gave me the chance. When they told me there is no more scholarship, I saw it as yes, because if I was receiving constantly money, I would have continued bringing, generating experiments, science. I had amazing results, but other colleagues can do that. Something else was for me to really face myself. And then I got to be in Germany, having to switch my residence permit to a freelance and not to be connected to the job, which is really tough. And Germany needs you to be in order, in check. And that was the best lesson. So, yes, fear side, of course, fear and doubt. But something in me was like, I'll go through it. And I think the most difficult thing was to change my residence permit from being sponsored to becoming a freelancer. Because you have to show everything. You have to prove to them that I'm becoming a life coach, consultant and all of that. And I was able to show, because I started to do independent consultancy, mediation and different topics to different ngos and to different companies. And I did it. And that was really with lots of joy. The money was not coming. So actually, again, I was focusing on changing my status. So I had to go through the fears of the changing residency, changing my status. Once that happened, I was very happy again here. There was not much fear about the money, because I knew there is lots of potential. And then where we joined Krisana and I, and then we created Tantric Energetics and we immediately dived in, because what we had is something people need. And then our products and services were very clear at the time. We knew what to give and we jumped and we started giving. And then it was a ride of really giving different. The need was really big under the need. Start to be less. When Covid hit, the crisis changed. And then we were changing. Something else was asked from us. And then the creation of three peak. I didn't answer much about fear and self doubt and conditioning, but you have to know all of the process. It was present. So I don't feel like stopping talking more about it. It was self doubt. Not necessarily. I come from a nice I don't know, stable place. I don't have self doubt because I know my art, I know my craft. Fear. I have tons of it. Fear of survival. Fear. And then, yes, when I was changing from being a scientist to being independent, money was like, I only could live from month to month. But the way how I could really deal with it was okay to meditate a lot, to really ground myself and deal with my anxiety, because anxiety starts to come up. And then I would check in with myself. I'm like, okay, Mazen, how much money you have? I'm like, I can survive a month and a half. Good, so what should we do? And there are other opportunity coming. I'm like, then let us for a month and a half, not think about it. So I was speaking to myself. I'm like, can we do that? I'm like, yeah, I can pay rent. I can eat. I can do my life normal. And then I did a month and a half, and then something opened and I got to get, whatever, another month and a half. And every time I asked myself, I checked, I'm like, okay, I would never be on the street. There's enough family, there's enough people. There's, I don't know, worst case scenario, you go and then go with your parents. I don't know. So I didn't. Then I got rid of this conditioning. I'll be on the street. I won't be able to eat. I won't have a shelter. So I was living month by month, and then the anxiety was fading away, because at the end of the month, I figured out something until money start flowing. But it was the best opportunity for me. And that's what consolidate me now in the businesses we're doing that I can go through by not overthinking the future and really focusing and understand what is existential survival, fear, and how to deal with it, how to ground with it and what's really now. And can I survive for a bit? Yes. Then I focus on my art. I focus on my work. And then I put the time where, okay, I start to question, how can I be supported or to find money?

Mino Vlachos: Yeah. What I find pretty fascinating is that I think we have a very similar inner experience, despite having such different outer experiences. So even though I was in the corporate world and I don't know why, I don't like to name drop, but just for the people listening, I worked at Merrill Lynch, Omnicom Group. I worked at some places that was acquired by Axos Financial, Ernst Young, a company acquired by Accenture so I worked in really big companies that are very stable, have been along for a very long time, and will probably continue to exist for a very long time. And yet the employee experience was really full of fear. And I talked to now friends who are still in corporate, and there's so much fear constantly about performing and getting fired. And savings. Meanwhile, they have a very, very stable income coming in every single month. They have health and insurance benefits that are coming every single month. They have retirement, 401k coming every single month. And I was in that position where I was accumulating, accumulating. But one of the refrains that I talk about that was like one of the programmings that was in my mind, which I think comes from some intergenerational pattern, was I always talk about the book of Job, which is a story from the Bible. In it, Job, who is loyal to God. He has his faith tested. God and Satan have a fun little debate about how much they can push job before he breaks. And so they absolutely destroy Job's life. They, I think, kill his kids, his wife. They take his fortune. He gets sick. They burn all the crops. I don't know. It's like a complete and utter devastation. And Job is still loyal, still loyal, still loyal. And then finally the guy snaps and he's like, God, what the fuck? Why are you doing this to me? And then God in the story is like, whoa, whoa, whoa. How dare you question me, job? And then job is like, okay, okay, I'm still loyal. And then he gives everything back. It's a weird story. I don't know. There's a lot of interpretations of it, but I always had that moment in my back of my head of, I'm going to have this book of job moment where no matter all I've accumulated, all I've hoarded, it's going to be gone in an instant. Like something is going to happen and I'm going to wake up and my bank account is going to be, and I will be starving and dying on the street. And it's some belief system, right? It's just some mental picture that was coming through me that again, I don't fully even understand why it was going on. But then when I did quit the corporate job, the fascinating thing was I almost never think about money. Like once or twice a month, it comes to me. But even in moments where we're not earning as much, it hasn't been as big of a topic as I thought it would be. And lo and behold, the money doesn't all disappear all at once. Like, you use it, it comes, it goes, it's a more fluid thing. So I find that there's this. In the corporate world, there's the same almost like fear and the same belief pattern as someone who is a freelancer and also worried about the same things. Although in the case of what you described, Mazen, those were actually more real things because you really needed to attend to what you could make in a month or in two months. Whereas in the corporate world, it's the same fear pattern, but people are making very stable amounts of money across their entire careers. So my next question is, I'm going to ask Krisana. When we started 3Peak, since you had started other institutes, you did like a lot of meditation, kind of. I don't know what to call them. But you set up centers. You had been a freelance, you had been a therapist. So we started 3Peak, which is a business that sells to other businesses. Does 3Peak somehow feel different as a startup than the other endeavors that you had, or does it feel similar to what you've done before?

Krisana Locke: It's very different. Big time, yes. Corporate world. I was like, really big time because it wasn't so creative. It was very institutionalized, it was very structured. I just remember people talking about when we did work with some in the beginning, some companies, they're like, yeah, we want more transparency. Transparency. And I said, so what would you like? And then it was like, can you communicate? What is it? And then it was like, that was like a no go. You don't go deeper than this. For me, I had to learn a new language. I had same issues, same systemic issues, personal issues on progress, but I just had to learn the new language to work with the people, develop the people, develop the teams, develop the executives. But no, it was like, really? I remember even saying to you, Mino, am I hearing what they're saying? But I hear this, but I understand this. And you told. So it's just do what you normally do. So, yeah, it was a big jump. It was a big jump. But I'm really enjoying the learning curve. I've had a big learning curve because I am so curious. I'm like, wow, how does this function? I don't have a fear with. It's like, I want to work it out. I want to jump in there and I'm so curious. I want to understand it. I want to immerse myself in it, to support, to share, to support people and companies and business where their needs are and with my skills and with my trainings and my experience, I'm super confident I can do that. But yeah, it's very different.

Mino Vlachos: And what about 3Peak itself as an entity? So if we consider 3Peak, it is a startup. So if we consider a 3Peak as a startup, how is that the same or different than other endeavors you've done? For instance, opening up the center in Berlin, opening up the center in New York, was it similar or different and how?

Krisana Locke: Well, with the startup, with 3Peak coaching and solutions, it's more that it was more for me. I had to take in and learn that it's going to be scaled up. We're going to grow big. This is also the, it doesn't have a self containing space where in Berlin I had a studio with 240 cm², my God, meters 2500 trying to translate it. And so there was a capacity to working with people was 50 people in workshops, experiences, but it was like an internal but with three coaching and solutions. In our company, it's like foundational work, structure, clarity, communication. To know that when we're working with people and more will come in where our teams will grow bigger and we will scale this up. So that was like, oh my goodness, right? It can really expand. Am I ready for this? And I was like, that's interesting. Yeah, okay. It was very new for me to step into that, but I do have that. I'm not like, how did we get there in ten years time? It's like, how do we get there so big? I'm aware where we're going.

Dr. Mazen Harb: It's really so nice because we know each other very well and the three of us. But it's so nice to really hear our perspective. It's really interesting for me. It's of course podcast for all listeners, but also like everything in life, it's an experience for me to really hear the perception of each one of you and even myself through the questions. I'm just enjoying myself. That's all I have to say to you. Mino. Nice.

Mino Vlachos: Well, now I'm going to ask you to say a little bit more. So if you compare it to some of the other endeavors you had done in the more freelance tantric energetics, in what ways is three peak different? This endeavor with 3Peak different.

Dr. Mazen Harb: Work, actually, really the constant perseverance, continuity, everything I did had more of a I work on something, I focus. I have a big ability to focus as much as you, I know. So I used to use it, I create something and then I take a breath in, there's a bit of space, then I go do the workshop there's space before, there's space after. And then I jump to the next one. So there's more of like waves. Wave after the other, wave after the other 3Peak is the ocean. You're in the middle of it. Waves can come from anywhere. Wind can come from anywhere, storms can come from anywhere. The darkness in the middle of the water can. You're like, whatever. You have really have to deal to fully trust you in the middle of the ocean, you have to trust the dark underneath you, you have to trust the sky, you have to trust the storm, you have to trust the waves, you have to trust. And you're like, funny when I ask the big existential question, who am I? Can I? And then suddenly you're like, of course you can because you put yourself there out of choice. And then you're floating, aren't you? I'm like, yeah, I'm floating. So just continue swimming. Because if I continue swimming I wouldn't stop and then ponder and I'll self doubt. I put myself in the middle and if I swim, I know how to swim through all those different weathers. I've been trained since a kid. But the moment I stop and then it's very enjoyable. And then you swim with the dolphins and then storm comes and then it pushes you somewhere else and then you learn you have to swim differently. But every single time I stopped and fear took over and I'm like, I stopped swimming and I checked. I'm like, oh my goodness. And that I got frozen or got blocked or I allowed the mind to take over and then the doubt to take over. That's the difference.

Mino Vlachos: Can I ask why are those things there? I'm trying to try and draw a little bit of a contrast when we're starting a business versus when we're kind of in a more independent consultant or freelance lifestyle. Why does it necessitate working harder in 3Peak? Why are you questioning who am I? What's actually happening? That's different in 3Peak that brings this difference about for you.

Dr. Mazen Harb: I really going to make it holistic in a sense. Everything about the self, honestly, I love you all, but everything, it's about me. I mastered so many things before and I thought I was on the mountain. I said I did it but then I questioned did I really do it? And then I start to venture and three peak was for me. I didn't know it was to know myself more, but actually it's to expand. When we are sitting in this conformity of life and all is easy, we got hit by crisis upon Cris. And you know very well the last five, six years how it was with the COVID with the wars, with everything that's happening. Luckily or fortunately, I come from a place where war happened very early. So I understood that I have to constantly expand. I understood the importance of crisis to make me understand how to adapt. The best adaptation is the key. But when I got to get this very. This constant rhythm, it's nice, it's safe. But then something start to move in people, they start to be bored or things. For me, I didn't touch the boredom because I'm like, I want to know who am I? And every time I start to get to go to a new venture, fear was there, the challenges was there. And every single time I'm expending in enjoying this human physical experience. But little I knew it has to happen through the business. And then it helped me to understand, yes, you are on a mountain, but there's so many other mountains. And then if you're on a mountain, it's good for you, but what if a storm comes? So it really helped me to expand and respect business, respect money. Remember, I used to not like business. I used to come from scholarship, I work hard to get a scholarship. But then you're given money already for five years. So it's not a question. So I had to learn how to respect every aspect of business, respect people in business, respect people doing all the jobs because they really needed respect the currency, and then actually ultimately respect myself through all of that. So I really see the value of business and startup. So really creating three p coaching and solution gave me a playground to continue growing.

Mino Vlachos: I'm going to try and even a little deeper, I'm trying to really understand what is specifically about this endeavor. A startup business, selling to businesses. What is it specific to this that's catalyzing the experience you're having?

Dr. Mazen Harb: You're really in the ocean. When I come apply to a job, there's a channel, you get paid, you sit, you do what you're really good at. When I apply in research, it's the same thing. When we created tantric Energetics, we invited to people where we're super expert, look, we're really, really expert and very good in therapy, coaching, healing modalities, emotional and mental education, science. So we were like, that was super easy for us and that's the thing. And then we thought, oh cool, then people can come to us and we do all of that. And the world needs us. Yes, the world needs our abilities. But then when we became so good. We're like, but what about us? When we jumped into a startup, you don't have a channel. You cannot canalize it. You're really in the open. Call it the desert, call it the ocean. Honestly, it's scary. The thing that's not scary is me being. Walking in the desert or me being in the ocean. Because when I connect to myself, I connect to my abilities and my adaptation and my resilience, and I know what we're capable of. And then the three of us, that's amazing. But then I look around and I'm like, there is no direction. There is no real mentors along the way. There is no one who's going to feed you. We are the best in our arts, the three of us, but the world is like, but show it to us. You're like, what? Show it to us in a business, physical way. Write a product and show why we need you. And that was very hard where we come from. People knew that we're good in therapy, healing, science. So people used to come to us and immediately they could notice, but that was not the business world. The business world need physical business communication. So we had to learn the communication. Yeah, you're the best. But why? You're the best. Show it to me. And you're like, show it to me in a pdf. And they're like, what? I can do a session for you. It will be the session of your life. Or I send you to Krisana and they're, no, no, that doesn't work like this show. It sends again and again, do the sales, do the marketing. It really took us, to be honest, Krisana and I, in a place where we were not experts, everything we were not, we didn't know.

Krisana Locke: I just want to say, good thing I sailed all those weekends in my life, because I sailed on the ocean, different weather my whole life, from six years old. So it was a nice metaphor, a nice analogy of it.

Dr. Mazen Harb: Yeah. Now I'm just realizing after also, you said that the feeling, the analogy is still there. And I feel somewhere in my subconscious, really brought this example, because when I'm feeling, I really want to speak to everyone out there, this angst that a human has, and an animal as well. When you throw them in the water, when there is no boundary or something to hold on, this is the feeling of like, I'm not trying to be positive, but I leave it for you, Mino and Kristen, but that's the feeling. When you start up is like this. You have a nungst of like, can I make it. You have to deal with all your limited belief of your mind, all your unconscious, the unconscious of your family, the environment you're with. And even more, like, in my case, I don't have any funding. So I'm like, I jumped. I'm like, how can you jump? I jumped. I have no money, no funding, but I know that what we're doing is needed and then it needs time to convert it. And I'm like, I will go to challenge, but that's the feeling. So I wouldn't say to create a startup is so easy, so nice. I'm like, it just, this is the biggest challenge of our lives. I'm like, at least for me and Krisana, because we worked a lot on the personal development and then the business was the personal development for us.

Mino Vlachos: Yes, I would like to say there's so again, you both had at least some reference experience with starting businesses like Krisana freelancing. And of course I'd like to believe that maybe that gave you some preparation for 3Peak, but maybe it's so different that it didn't. But I came from this corporate world which was so stable and there's been a lot of learnings for me and a lot of humbling. For instance, I always got a lot of positive feedback from my clients. Oh, you're one of the best facilitators you've ever had, one of the best coaches. We want to work with you, we want to work with you. And so there's all this recognition of skill set and then like you said, Mazen, we start 3Peak coaching and solutions and we get out there and it's like I still have my same skill set, I'm still an amazing coach, I'm still a great team facilitator, but the difficulty to explain and persuade and to sell me without this brand that's been around for 30, 40 years and the humbling moment is realizing that as good as I was, those companies were not buying me, they were buying the brand and the company that I was working for. And to some extent, even though there was variability in how good we are as coaches in that company, they were buying the range of coaches, not just the good ones or not just me, they were buying a brand that could have interchangeable coaches. And of course in the company I used to work at, there was variability in the skill. But other consulting companies I think are even better about. There's no variability. We can put the exact same robot, the exact same conditioned human in front of you again and again and again, 100,000 people, and it'll all feel the same to you. And so they're really buying the company. And this is a big learning for me with 3Peak is the three of us are so good at what we do. And our beautiful startup 3Peak is growing in its brand recognition, in its brand awareness, and it's starting, I think, to really now people are starting to speak about it and talk about it and recognize it, but they're not going to buy us. They're not going to buy a Krisana, mazen and Mino. They're going to purchase services from 3Peak. And that is, I think, a very different animal that I'm used to. I also came from the business world, so I thought, oh, I know business. I've done business, literally business consulting, strategy consulting, and then being in this more entrepreneurial phase of my life with the startup thing, it's a completely different skill set, it's a completely different world that I'm in. And all the things, that's what I mentioned earlier, the little hint, I was like, all the things I thought were going to be a problem have not been truly, and all the things I was overconfident in, like, oh, I'm coming from business, are the things that I've realized, holy shit, I don't know nearly enough, I do not have nearly enough skills that my company, 3Peak, is requiring of me in sales and in marketing in particular. When I was in the business environment, I did sales, I did a lot of sales. I probably sold millions of dollars worth of work, but it was a very different kind of selling where there was the brand recognition, they already were coming to us, interested. There was almost this like, because each individual has fear about their job security, but in the whole, things are so comfortable and so stable that there's this weird dignity to sales. Like if people don't respond to you or they drop or they don't buy something, it doesn't really matter because the company is doing okay overall. So there's no real pressure to sell, there's no real desire to sell. It's like if it happens, great, I can get ahead, and if it doesn't happen, it's not the biggest deal in the world. Whereas in the startup realm we are trying to eat. It is just like primal, I feel it's like we are again, there's a different dignity we can bring with our inner grace, but it's like when I talk to people, I want them to pick up the phone the second time and the third time and if they don't, I don't judge them. I judge me for not creating the conditions for them to go on the journey with us. And that's where it's been so much rewiring and relearning is how do we create the right direction and the right leadership so that other people want to follow us into a program with 3Peak. And that's something that we're still refining right now and still figuring out is how to create the conditions for others to want to go on that journey with us. That's about our leadership. It's not about them. So I can sit there and blame them for not responding or ghosting, but today, really, I woke up and we're going to have a strategy session, the three of us, soon, about it. But I really am like the customer Journey, we really can fine tune this even more so that they want to follow, they want to relax, they want to surrender, they want to really beautifully allow us to guide them into something that will benefit their organization. I have so many different learnings from the kind of startup lifestyle. Every day is a new inner learning. And I'm always have been a bit of a personal development junkie. But this is to the point where even some days, once in a while, I'm like, can it take a break, please? Just one day where I don't have to rewire my thinking process, my belief system, process my emotions. It is the highest form of kind of self challenge I've put myself through. I love it. It brings me 98% of the time, a lot of joy. 2% of the time, I crash and have huge anxiety, like self doubt. I call it my one day of the month. One or two days of the month, I have a total freak out. The other days, the other 29, 29 days of the month. Really fun, really creative, very amazing. But I'm really realizing that this is now, I don't think it stops this kind of inner learning, this inner transformation, this inner evolution that we have asked ourselves to undergo. And we have to wake up every day and set direction, set clarity, move forward. The moment we don't have intention or direction, the whole company freezes. The whole thing stops. So it is a really call for us to be inner leaders and outer leaders of our company to say, this is where we're going in an ocean. It's really the captain. Whereas before in the company, I was whatever, someone who has had a job, a role, a function. So even if I didn't have direction, it doesn't really matter. I just do the job, do the function, like just do what I'm supposed to do. It's not my responsibility. Where the company goes now we wake up every day and even probably in our dreams and that's all we're reflecting on is where are we going, where are we going, where are we going?

Dr. Mazen Harb: It's really inspiring to again hear you again your perception because we share it, but it's relaxing again, it's really good. I really recommend to everyone who's doing startup beginning, communicate with your co founders. Really talk about your doubts, your fears. There is nothing to be ashamed about because it's really about communication. This is inner leadership. A startup needs super self leadership, inner leadership, good communication, a good synergy between the founders. I really would like to bring it back to the importance of startup and the people like to bridge everything we've been talking and through. When you spoke now, it made me realize the importance of the transitions we did. Krisana and I, mainly coming from already the things and where we had to have the challenge and a lot for myself is how to let go of false identities. That it's not anymore about the scientist, wonderful scientist, it's not about the sound. He wonderful for me, I do not for the other. I love myself and I can't say, oh, I'm really very creative scientist, a very good sound healer, I'm very good coach and mentor, I'm very good leadership consultant, I'm very good in mediation and conflict resolution. It's all about me. When everything I created in my life, I was selling myself as the product and the service and people bought it. And when I went to Krisana, people traveled the world to come and do a therapy session with Krisana. It's not that we were inflated with our ego, just more of you wear your product because all our life, what we did invested every single moment and every cent in our personal development to be in service of that. And you come to the startup world, you bring that and you start with it. And I'm telling you, as painful it is, a mask after mask, an identity. It's like I want to cry now and then. Everything where it worked, where people wanted you, you start the amazing teacher, the amazing this, and you start that doesn't help all your false identities. And yeah, you go into mini crisis existential thing. And that's why I said it's the most best personal development. I remember two weeks ago I was sitting with Krisana and another partner and I told her she was not very happy at the beginning because I didn't explain I said, I, we have an NGO, by the way, Krisana and I, and then we have a third partner. And we literally signed. We went to the Notary and then signed on the NGO, and then we went for a tea, the three of us. I sit with them, I look at them, I'm like, I discovered something. It's been a while. Through three peak. I am not a teacher because actually in the foundation, we are the founding members, but also we are co chair of the board, and then we are the main teachers because it's really about mental and emotional health education for young adults. So we are asked to go and then teach through seven day immersions, and then both of them I see, like, I am not a teacher anymore, but I was talking about the identity. I identified myself so much because people needed that, but they told me, but what do you mean? Then? I felt like I need to relax them. I will teach. This is a role function I will do. But come on, in 3Peak in everything I'm doing 95%, if not 99%. I am strategizing, I am putting things together, I'm connecting to people, I'm talking to clients, I'm changing programs, I'm bringing things together. I'm like. And I was getting tired because I have my identities. I'm a scientist, I'm a sound healer, I'm a therapist, I'm a coach, I'm a teacher. Man, it's such a big load of bag of stones and I have to carry. And I'm like, you know what? I'm not going to say the power, that's it. I threw it. And I'm like, no, I'm a founder, I'm strategizing. My role is to put things, give me so much choice, to organize, to strategize, to put the team together, to put the work, because what do I do with all these gifts I have? If there's no one here to listen and to give the service, then a flip happened in my consciousness. I start to respect startups. We are not the products. The founders are not the products. And that's my insights and guidance, if that helps anyone. Our role is to let go of our ego, to let go of our identity, to let go of who we are and how people love us with the roles we work in their lives and start working on the product. Otherwise you become a therapist, and then you work on therapy, and then you become the therapist. So it's about three peak, and this is where it changed. We are in service of the product and the service to give it to the people as a service. But nobody cares about me individually, Krisana individually and Mina individually. Once we were able to communicate that product, that service, and people see how important it is at the end when we go there and to deliver it, they will feel safe with us because of what we did and who do it. But that's it. But nobody will buy it from us. If, because we're amazing in something, they will buy it when they understand that how much we are really loyal to the service, how much we really love what we're sharing and how much we moved away out of the way and allow three peak to really be the company. So yeah, it's something hard to bite on and to let go of yourself and be fused with the company and forget your identities.

Mino Vlachos: If you would like to enjoy the purity of your art, then I don't know that starting a business is the right move. Like again, I had a story in my head of I will do this so that I can do more coaching. I do almost no coaching because I'm focused on running the business. And when I do work with clients, I don't have time to do one on one sessions. So we're really offering team and group development or consultations. So yeah, I don't know, maybe some point in my life I will have the capacity to take on one on one coaching clients again, but I don't right now. So unless the business itself becomes your art, you won't be working on the quote unquote thing that you thought you might be. Krisana, in what ways do you feel like you have felt yourself evolve or what have you? I mean, I've seen you shift and change and transform, but how would you self identify how you have toggled your own self in this 3Peak period?

Krisana Locke: I would say that what has really helped me is because I have a background in systemic constellation and organizational constellations. So really understanding systemically how to set, what are the functions, what are the roles, what is needed, what is missing? So I know my role. I know my role. I'm a founder, a director, but I also know my role and what I need to do to contribute to the company. I'm in a big growth mindset. We talked about fixed mindset the other day and growth mindset. And so I'm adapting continuously my thinking processes, my self reflection, my creativity. I see now, like, my perspective is like finding really interesting articles on psychology and business or people. And I really enjoy it because I did work a lot with clients, with business people, with executives that came to me for personal growth, support or coaching. When I was living in New York I supported from that side so that they could stay intact to support their business. And by the way, it was a lot about being disconnected to oneself. They've lost the joy. But for me what I find now is I'm very passionate to be open to hear other people who are involved in businesses who are in the startup scene. Before that there was not a perspective for me to open to that, to be interested in that. So I embrace it. So that's all I'm going to share about it. At the moment it's just curiosity and a newer learning and taking a big bite of an apple and enjoying it.

Dr. Mazen Harb: I will add to it seeing Krisana at the beginning of know because you used to come and then bring all those business words for me and Krisana I kind of heard some. I got used to it and I got it myself. And then Krisana was interesting. Interesting. The other day we're sitting in the living room late at night and then she comes to me, she's like this and this and this with the HR and then she starts using words and she told me what I think and I told her and then she looked at me like wow, who would have imagined two years down I will be understanding all those words I just said herself. For me that's the biggest thing where before it was for her I'm like I don't know if in your life because you really focused on being personal development therapy. I don't know if it was something in you like you thought that you might be speaking. She did all her life therapist, meditation teacher, mentor and then doing the flip now and then sitting in the living room and speaking about all those words. This is the evolution I see in her and yeah it makes me giggle inside. I'm like it's fun. It's fun.

Krisana Locke: I will say in between those I have been in a lot of managerial positions subducer for a theater company, running a theater company.

Dr. Mazen Harb: Even in India, in.

Krisana Locke: India, managerial leadership skills, running departments in a meditation resort. Besides being a therapist, besides teaching meditation programs I'm a type A person. I think they saw my ability so talents and I enjoyed it. So I was very much working in these positions of working with teams, being a leader in teams. So I have a good understanding of structure of organization, how to work with people, how teams, how to get the best out of your team. So I do have that in my.

Dr. Mazen Harb: Past lives and that's actually exactly what I think that's what made 3Peak possible. We, the three of us, were able to come and change hats, change roles, change function. So here again, we're going back to adaptation. If we do not have adaptation, do not start a business if you're not capable to deal with crisis, do not start a business. If you have some resilience, some way to deal with crisis. You have resources. I'm not talking material resources, inner resources. You really have trust and know you can deal with setbacks and then adapt. So it's your ability to adapt. And again, I like to mention, like Darwin, where everybody understood that the fittest was not the most athlete, the fittest is the one who can adapt the most. It's the ability of adaptation is what make you the best way to survive and then on. And here I see it's really what I recommend and suggest for everyone. Starting a startup, or any startup, know that you have to change roles and functions and go in and out. Don't identify yourself with one. Even if you're the best in something, do not try. But I want to be the best coach, I want to be the best consultant. But probably the startup needs something else from you. And then really to be able to be adapting to the team with the founders, with the other directors, until things started to clear up, until you start to create this vessel, until it's like a boat, until you start to create the organization. And then each one will know exact their role at the beginning. It's not like that. You'll be one, two, three, jumping in. And then you need to know how to do not everything, but mainly everything. And at least if you don't know how to do it, where to ask, how to ask, who to ask. Those are things needed. Abilities.

Mino Vlachos: Yeah, there's no playbook. And if there is, it means you're copying something that's already been done before. And good luck. Like good luck copying another business that's already started before you and had time to try things and learn and adapt. So if you're going to do something that's different, then there will be no playbook. There will be some steps, some guidance. You can maybe generalize, just like we're generalizing some of it right now. But each company will have its own specific steps it needs to go through sometimes. I've heard this in the past and I used to roll my eyes, but now I get it. There's some people that call starting a business like one of the highest spiritual kind of endeavors, and it's easy to kind of judge that and criticize it. But I think if you do it, quote unquote, right? You're creating an entity that is separate from yourself. And there's this higher order thing. It's like a family, where now something above and beyond the self becomes important. And for humans, it is one of the most enriching, fun, meaningful activities. To have something above and beyond the self that's important, whether that is your pet, your child, your family, your business. There's something above and beyond just you that now you're in service of. And we really seem to love that psychologically. So I think it is a worthwhile pursuit. And it is difficult. It can be challenging. And so the last thing I wanted to talk about before we bring this episode to its conclusion is, okay, so moments of it can be challenging, confusing, disorientating, whatever. You can insert whatever word you want. So what are those inner resources? How have each of you and I'll go one by one, but how have each of you navigated this period of uncertainty? So I'll start with Krisana. What are some of the practical things that have really supported you in this period of expansion, exploration, transformation. What are your inner and outer resources right now?

Krisana Locke: Meditation, self reflection, sport, eating healthy long walks, cooking wholesome food, connecting with loved ones, having space for myself, to connect with myself so that I'm always ready and grounded and centered to be with the bigger picture. And that's every day in my life. And as you said, that as a startup and a business, it's an entity higher than yourself, and it's almost spiritual. I do say that. And in my internal world, and what runs my life is evolution of myself. And I use a lot of meditation to come back to myself, to be with myself, so that I'm able to adapt in all situations.

Mino Vlachos: Mazan, when you are in an oceanic feeling, you are in the ocean. Maybe it's a sunny day, maybe it is a storm, maybe you can navigate by stars. Maybe it's cloudy that night and it's a new moon and it's total pitch blackness. What are your inner outer resources during this time?

Dr. Mazen Harb: You just described a month of me, a month of me working. Those are the emotions. Every single day. It's different. The sky is different, the water is different. There's one thing that's not different is when I go in and connect to myself. When I bring balance sometimes, most of the time lately, I've been overworked, so I don't overjudge it. I teach balance and I coach balance, but actually cool. But also I'm bringing awareness, not to hit myself of overworking. So the idea is to know whatever is really been heavy on my mind. That I really play a role to make it even worse when I start overthinking. So I go and attend to my needs, which is my physical well being and which is really consistency other than the job, consistency in sports, consistency in exercising. That's the only place where I do not think. And then the body loves it and then it really allows me to. The other one is sleep. My goodness. I sleep with a big storm and then I go in. Before sleeping, I really go in, recollect myself and I know that tomorrow is another day. I really did everything I can today. Then, okay, good. I go to sleep and then I welcome the next day with all its challenges. So I start the first 2 hours of the day without checking what I need to attend to first. I tend to myself, I come first. And that me coming first helped me to really give later on the whole night, probably for the company. But when I don't come first in the morning, I'm really cranky, unhappy. That's it. So really I come first to really connect. Wake up in the morning and do all of that and then start really working. But again, to know that in the midst of all of that, at that ocean, I am safe and that I have to remember myself. My mind goes mad because of things about the future. But then when I have some rituals, some sitting in stillness, some walking, some even whatever I like every day to learn something new, learn a language for ten minutes, it really bring out the curiosity in me or cook something, it makes me feel safe. And the moment I feel safe, my mind relaxes. And when my mind relaxes, knows like. But you have your schedule for tomorrow, so you don't have to overthink it. Tomorrow you will think about it. Organizing your brain, mind, thought patterns. You are the boss. Actually that you are the boss of that flow. If you don't want to think about the tax that you have to pay in one week, then don't and do something else. And know if you will and you will struggle about it. It will be heavy and you start suffering. So really commit to the work plan, write things down, respect the agenda. Even if you do not do it, it's fine, move it. But in between, do not try to save the company every single moment of the day. Don't try to save the company, don't try to save everyone. Try to do your work and then bring organization. So I would say really order in the mess, even if it's messy to bring a certain order of the self and then bring boundaries. Finishing work, knowing when work ends and when work starts, and when I go to sleep, I'm not working, and when I'm doing the sports, I'm not working, and when I'm walking, I'm not working. And when I'm working, I'm 100% working.

Krisana Locke: And you Mino, yeah, it'll be.

Mino Vlachos: Probably a little bit of my own little flavor on the similar topics. For me, reflection is probably one of the most important things I can give myself for the business, just for the business sense. The more I can allow myself to observe and ponder and explore what could be or possibilities or where things can be improved. So the greatest thing I can give 3Peak at least is reflection time. The other best thing I can give for myself then is how to manage my own self. As you mentioned, one of my biggest blessings and also pain points at the same time is social support, which I think will be the topic of our next podcast. But having really good relationships between the three of us is one of the biggest supports in my life. Has been for years, but continues to be one of the most important things for 3Peak. Not only in practical terms, because we're aligned and we can move into the world together, but also emotionally. I know I can go to each one of us and we can sit with each other and resource and co regulate. I've tended to reflect on this a lot the last few months. For some reason is I think if I were to try doing a business alone, I would fail utterly and completely, again and again and again. I don't think I could do this by myself. I don't know. It would be, I think, beyond the capacity I hold as a human being with the emotional constitution I have, doing it with partners is really the beautiful way for me to do this. I also thank people in my private life. My partner, Angela, we have a dog friends, like certain people that can just hold space or just hold consistency in my life. Like for my partner Angela, just having her there consistently and is like a very resourceful thing for me. So I notice every time she leaves town to travel for work, I become a completely degenerate. It's really ugly, like who I turn into just working a lot, no order in my life. There's just something about her presence that allows me to be much stronger in myself, in my organization, in my hygiene. There's just a lot of things that it supports me to take care of. So I'm really grateful in lover for allowing me to really have that security and safety and consistency within my home. On the flip side, and there's a topic for another day, but there's also a lot of social connections. I have friends, et cetera, family that I've needed to create a different relating dynamic with because I find some of the influences difficult for me to manage and difficult for me to filter through in the moments of oceanic like self doubt, fear, crisis, et cetera. This year I've taken my health a lot more sincerely. And again, social support has been a big theme for me. So I realized I cannot really do things alone or it's not prudent or effective for me to try to do it again alone. So, for instance, I'm working with a nutrition coach this year, which has supported me a lot to bring more mindfulness and intention to my eating patterns and the different ways that I structure buying food and eating food and cooking food. I've joined a gym mazen supported me to join a crossfit gym. So I've started doing crossfit, which again about in its own time and space, all the self doubt and fear that went into joining that gym. But ultimately I've enjoyed the classes and it's a place where I can get a lot of energy out. So I find myself way more regulated emotionally because of the gym. And there's also like a little black box inside me that I think is still full of rage. So it allows me to tap this box inside of myself that I can healthily channel a lot of aggression into a sport that benefits me as well. And then finally, I just general self awareness of myself and where I'm at. The more honest I can be with myself, the more I can serve myself and what I need. And that includes some days like, yeah, I don't do a traditional all the time. I work five days and take two days off. We follow that pattern sometimes, but sometimes I'll work for ten days and then take a random Thursday off, a random Tuesday off. But I need to be honest with myself so I can do that. When do I need rest? When do I need total blank day? I'm not doing anything. I'm going to go ride the ferry boats and whatever, or go in a cafe and do nothing. And where are the days that I really need to focus and get some stuff done? So not limiting myself to a traditional work week sometimes and then other seasons, I really limit myself to a traditional work week so that I have that structure. I have two days off for the weekend. I stop working at five or 06:00 p.m. So it depends. But I only can do that because I'm honest with myself. I'm not diluting myself into what I'm doing. I know very consciously if I'm going to start operating on stress, I'm going to start robbing myself by sleeping less, which I have to pay back at some point. That loan, you have to pay it back at some point. So I'm honest about my credits and debits to my own body and where I'm at and my emotions, and I always pay up. I'm not in a phase of life where I can be in debt. It's just not going to work. So that's how I support myself and resource myself and manage the fun and amazing and complex ride that we are on, and we will continue to be on. So with that, we bring this podcast to a conclusion. And thank you for listening.

Dr. Mazen Harb: Thank you.

Krisana Locke: Thank you.